HOME    UP 

 

Front Cover – Egon Schiele – Woman in Black Stockings (Valerie Neuzil) 1913 

 Schiele's behaviour in separating from his lover Wally Neuzil, if not dominantly male, was at the very least singularly unfeel­ing. He left her in order to marry Edith Harms. Since early 1914 Schiele had been trying to get to know Edith and Adele Harms, two young, pretty, middle-class women who lived across the street. He would strike odd poses at his window, or howl "like an Indian"; and, having at­tracted their attention, invited them on excursions and walks. In order to demonstrate to their sternly moral mother that his intentions were hon­ourable, Schiele took the unsuspecting Wally along on these outings. But in February 1915 a harmless flirtation with Edith Harms became a stronger attraction. And in a letter to Roessler of 16 February he wrote: "I plan to marry - most advantageously, perhaps not Wally."

Schiele and Wally Neuzil had lived together for four years. She was his preferred model in most of his erotic drawings and also appeared in a number of important paintings. She had seen through being hounded out of Krumau, she had stood by him throughout the Neulengbach affair, and now he announced that he would be marrying another woman. Roessler recalled that Schiele asked Wally to join him in his local in Hietzingen, and silently handed her a letter in which he undertook to "spend several weeks every summer on holiday together!!!" Needless to say, this was an offer Wally felt well able to refuse; in any case, she pointed out, Edith would never accept such an odd menage a trois either. Edith does appear to have been quite jealous initially, and she demanded a defi­nite decision. After the separation, Wally volunteered for the Red Cross and died of scarlet fever in Dalmatia in 1917. She never saw Schiele again. 

Reinhard Steiner – Egon Scheile 1890-1918 The Midnight Soul of the Artist